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Spain v Turkey: We're lucky to have Iniesta, admits Alba

By Robert Jones

Published 17/06/2016

Spain's Andres Iniesta
Spain's Andres Iniesta

Spain defender Jordi Alba admits even their multi-talented side are lucky to have Andres Iniesta.

The Barcelona midfielder was man of the match in their opening Group D win over Czech Republic, capping his display by laying on the cross for Gerard Pique's late winner.

Iniesta (below), a World Cup and two-time European Championship winner, is the man who makes Spain tick - much as he does for his club side - and Alba accepts he is the one they turn to in difficult times.

"We know the influence he has in the game," he said. "There's no need to dodge the subject. He's important for us. Regardless of where he plays he's key in the national team and in his club.

"When we're stuck, he sums up all the conditions to create danger. He's a different player to the rest. We're lucky to have him as a team-mate."

Spain's defence of their title continues against Turkey, who lost 1-0 to Croatia in their opener. That puts Alba, Pique, Iniesta and Sergio Busquets up against their Barcelona team-mate Arda Turan. The Catalan club's left-back knows all about the Turkey captain's qualities.

"He's a very important player. Barcelona signed him, despite having the bad luck of a sanction (a transfer ban which meant Turan could not play for six months until the suspension had expired)," Alba added.

"Whenever he's come on he's done phenomenally. He's a vital player and an idol in his home country.

"He'll probably be looking forward to it. He's always dangerous, I'm sure he'll be motivated."

Turan is motivated, not by the thought of facing his team-mates but by a desire to improve after being criticised for his display against Croatia.

"Personally, I played badly and I was ineffective. However, such things can happen in life," the 29-year-old said. "I'll try my best to do better in the next match."

Euro 2016 Group D: Spain v Turkey, Nice, Today, 8pm

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